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Morning Skate Updates 2/11/13

Monday, 02.11.2013 / 10:15 AM ET / News
By Travis Betts
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Morning Skate Updates 2\/11\/13
The Islanders and Hurricanes will have morning skate at Nassau Coliseum starting at 10:30 a.m. in preparation for their game tonight. Check this space for the latest updates throughout the skate.

10:25: Colin McDonald, who scored his first goal as an Islander Saturday, and Brad Boyes (five points in his last six games) head to the ice with the rest of the team.

10:35: Isles are dressed in orange and blue practice jerseys, as opposed to the usual white/light blue/grey/orange/dark blue variety, so it'll make more than a cursory glance to see if there are any changes to the lines from Saturday's game.

10:48: Islanders skate is mandatory this morning, so interviews with Capuano and the players will come a few minutes later than normal. We'll get some updates from the Canes side as well. They're on game five of a six-game road trip, having lost to Philadelphia in overtime on Saturday. They play at New Jersey Tuesday.

11:04: Just finished talking to Jack Capuano. Rick DiPietro is starting in goal tonight for the first time since Jan. 25. Rest of the lineup remains the same as it was Saturday.

11:20: Capuano, on DiPietro's attitude playing in the backup role: "I think he's been handling it fine. He obviously hasn't played a lot, but at the same time, he's sharp. He's had a lot of practice time with us now. When you haven't played a lot, obviously practice is what you need. He gave us a chance in Boston, he just got a couple of unlucky bounces."

11:23: Capuano, on if he thinks the defensemen will have trouble adjusting to DiPietro's aggressive puck-playing style: "It's not a concern for me at all. We've worked since the first day of training camp on this. We know how the game is played in the neutral zone. It's post, wrap and go, and there's a lot of chips and there's a lot of goalie touches. We've worked from Day 1 with both goaltenders here, as well as the goaltenders in Bridgeport on how we want to communicate and how we want to play the puck with our goalies."

11:27: DiPietro, on embracing the opportunity to start: "I talked about it the last couple of years. This opportunity to feel healthy and practice, and have a chance to come out here and help this team win hockey games is truly a blessing. I feel good. Hopefully that translates onto the ice."

11:31: Islanders are all off the ice. Carolina players trickling on to start their morning skate.

11:33: DiPietro, on the challenges of facing Carolina tonight: "They're a great team. They like to work the puck down low with those big guys. They have a lot of talent up front with the Staal brothers and Semin and Skinner. The big thing for us is to stay out of the penalty box and make smart, simple plays in the d-zone, and have good sticks."

11:35: Casey Cizikas, on playing on a line with Josh Bailey and Matt Martin in the last game: "They make it easy. Josh is an unbelievable player. I think he brings that one dynamic that me and Marty might not have. He finds those spots, he's able to get us pucks in the right areas, and he's easy to play with. Marty - what else can you say? He's out there, he's banging, crashing, you know he's going to stick up for you no matter what. It's easy playing with those guys."

11:38: Cizikas, on reversing the team's recent struggles: "We went through something very similar in Bridgeport, and turned it around to get points in 9-of-10 right afterward. I think the last game against Buffalo was a perfect example of what we need to do to get back on track. We played our hearts out. I think we outplayed them, but it doesn't always go your way. You can't get away from that. You've got to keep playing your game. If you do that, good things will come."

12:12: Quotes on the way from the Carolina room including Jussi Jokinen, Jordan Staal and Kirk Muller.

Fun personal observation: Carolina ranks No. 1 on my locker room music power rankings. Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Tom Petty. Check. Check. Check.

12:20: Jussi Jokinen on tonight's matchup: "Obviously they had a great start, but now they've dropped a couple games recently. In the last game, they controlled the whole game but couldn't score. They're a really tough, young team that's had the same core the last few years. Obviously, they want to make the playoffs as bad as anybody, so tonight's a big challenge for us."

12:28: Jokinen, on the current six-game road trip: "We battled back the last couple of games. We won one and lost another in overtime. It's going to be like that every night - one goal games. We need to be able to get as many points as we can on this road trip."

12:31: Jordan Staal, on playing with brother Eric: "It's been fun. It's definitely still a little weird knowing your brother is only a few miles down the road, and seeing him every morning. It's definitely neat. We're both very happy it turned out that way."

12:35: More from Staal, this time on the Islanders: "They're a solid team. They always give you a good game, especially in this building. For some reason, it's very tough to win here. We've had a lot of battles with the Islanders. They always seemed to play really well against us in Pittsburgh."

12:39: Hurricanes head coach Kirl Muller: "They've got good skill and they're not afraid to go on the attack. This team gave us a tough time last year. Their defensemen aren't afraid to join in on the attack. So we've got to be careful we don't get into a pond hockey mentality and tighten things up."

12:42: Muller, on coaching the Staal brothers: "They've been great. I'm lucky that our top players have the attitude and equipment that they have. On any good team, your leaders have to lead. All they want to do is play hockey. They enjoy the game, they have fun, they play hard, and it's great to have a 1-2 pivot with the size of those two guys."

Check for live updates of tonight's game between the Islanders and Hurricanes. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.




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